Our Love for the Kansas Flint Hills
When I was growing up in the country, north of Towanda, Kansas my parents knew how important it was for their three kids to play and be outdoors. My Dad, Marvin, built my sister and I a playhouse so we could be in out of the rain. I would be in it every chance I got which according to my Mom Dixie, “she knew exactly where I was at.” Don grew up running the neighborhood in the town of Greeley, Kansas in the shop of his Uncle Leo’s with his cousins learning and observing.
According to Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist, “Prozac may not be the only way to get rid of your serious blues”. I’m living proof that the natural antidepressant in soil makes me happier and healthier. Soil microbes and human health now have a positive link which has been studied and found to be verifiable.
One of the things we found in common when Don and I were dating was the love for the outdoors and gardening. I was living in the north part of the city of Kechi partnering with neighbors on a community garden. Don had an acre in Cassoday and decided in prior years to install a water hydrant for watering the neighbor boys 4-H lamb. Perfect spot for us to garden together to spend our time together. We would buy our seeds and I would germinate our starts at my house then would transport and begin planting. We nurtured, planted watered and weeded after our day jobs ended. To this day his rows are still straighter than mine.
When we bought the farm before we were married, it was exactly what we dreamed of having. At the time we were both working day jobs off the farm and would rush home to start our chores stealing every minute of light before dark set in.
Our first year of growing in what was in prior years a cattle pen, was a challenge. Don had rotator cuff surgery and his contribution was borrowing Farmer Johnson’s tractor and a two bottom plow to break the ground for me. I went to work with our Tuffy rototiller working the soil.
Now after a day's work off the farm, Don returns to find me “working” in the garden, in the grow room or out in the pasture. He joins me and together we work alongside each other till dark forces us inside a building. During our break time we enjoy sitting on the base of a tree calling turkeys or at a pond fishing. We are double blessed when the grandkids and their parents join us.